County officials: Improving current jail facility best option

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

Curry County may need a new jail, but it would cost $20 million and county officials say the best approach for now is to improve the facility that opened in 1993.

An August assessment of the Curry County Adult Detention Center identified multiple security issues that included staffing shortages, outdated policies and procedures and an “abysmal” structural facility.

The assessment was conducted after eight violent inmates — two of whom remain at large — escaped from the jail on Aug. 24. Officials said the inmates stole a key to a plumbing shaft, climbed up pipes and cut a hole in the roof with handmade tools.

The county has hired a firm to conduct an architectural evaluation and give them an idea of what it will take to bring the